Stripping down to a swimsuit at the beach can be an incredibly triggering experience for a lot of reasons. For one, you're literally exposing your body to the elements, to sand and trash and fish, sun burns and limitless bug bites. But more daunting than that, you're exposing your body to the eyes of other human beings who can be endlessly cruel and judgemental. As with everything, the body shaming multiplies if you're a woman.
The blogger Shelly Proebstel is all too familiar with the ways body shaming and misogyny can be a shaming and limiting force. So, in retaliation to the fatphobic norms, she uses her platform to open up honest dialogue and promote body positivity.
During a recent trip to New Zealand's Mt Maunganui Beach, Proebstel noticed a group of nearby men sneering and cruelly mocking her body.